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1.-Spirit of Persecution
* ART. I.-PRESBYTERIANISM AND CHRISTIANITY.
NATURAL DEPRAVITY. In our last number, we quoted largely from the most popular standards of faith, to show what the Presbyterian doctrine of depravity is. We shall now state some objections to it. If this doctrine meant only, that there is no man liv. ing without sin; no one who does not sin often and flagrantly, against the divine commandments, that in all men, and in every part of the earth, there is wickedness, and that wickedness often sinks into the darkest depravity—that all records are stained with accounts of crimes and vices, we should have no word to say against it. It is what we preach-what we believe-what all believe. The question is not, whether men sin, or are liableto sin. If the Presbyterian doctrine of natural depravity taught only, that man's nature was imperfect, there would be room for difference. Human nature is an imperfect nature, as everything created is, and must be, if the Supreme be the standard of perfection. About these and other points, there is no dispute.
Differences of opinion do not arise, till we reach points of faith that are added to these. The difference is about the origin of sin, and man's state by nature. And as we do not wish to consider a doctrine which is not actually believed, we shall consider the mildest form that it has ever assumed. All are aware that those who receive this doctrine, are by no means agreed among themselves, as to what it is. It has been variously modified in a long series of changes, from the assembly's catechism, down to the doctrine of the Episcopal church.